Camille Cosby has been ordered by a federal judge to testify against her husband, Bill Cosby, in a civil suit filed against him by the women claiming the former TV and film star sexually assaulted him.
According to The New York Times, judge David H. Hennessy ruled Thursday that Mrs. Cosby should be compelled to testify in a lawsuit filed by seven women who claim Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them. Bill Cosby’s legal team argued Camille Cosby should not be compelled to testify to prevent an “undue burden” on the 71-year-old women, among others. Hennessy rejected those arguments, as well as a request to limit the scope of questioning allowed by counsel during her deposition.
While the deposition had originally been set for Wednesday, an emergency motion filed Tuesday has delayed the proceeding, pending judge Hennessy’s review of Camille Cosby’s as-yet unfiled appeal of the court’s decision. According to CNN, the motion claimed that deposition could induce “irreparable injury” if the court went through with the deposition as planned.
The development comes just a week after Pennsylvania prosecutors issued a felony warrant for Bill Cosby’s arrest for the 2004 sexual assault of former Temple University employee Andrea Constand. In past depositions related to the case, Cosby admitted to having affairs and “offering” women quaaludes before sex. Cosby has been publicly accused of sexual assault and rape by more than 50 women.
Without any limitations to the line of questioning, Camille Cosby will likely be required to answer questions meant to determine if she knew about her husband’s extra-marital affairs and, if so, whether or not they were consensual.
The women in the Massachusetts-based lawsuit, who can no longer file complaints related to their individual assaults due to the state’s statute of limitations, have sued Cosby for defamation. Cosby responded to public accusations of sexual assault by the women by calling them liars, which the women claim has injured their reputation. Cosby has denied the allegations and filed counter-suit, claiming the women have filed the suit in an attempt to defame him.
In addition to Camille Cosby’s deposition, the legal team representing the seven women in the defamation suit has also requested Bill Cosby provide a deposition for their case “within the next month.”